Energy Conservation & Renewable Energy
Tackling energy use is a win-win proposition: it reduces our environmental impact and makes good business sense.
By building more energy-efficient stores and facilities, conserving the energy and water we use and purchasing renewable energy credits, we are pushing ourselves to reduce the environmental footprint of our business operations. It is our goal to reduce our energy consumption by 25% and to cover 100% of our electricity consumption with renewable energy by 2015.
Energy Conservation Goals and Progress
Goal: Reduce energy consumption by 25% in our company-owned stores by 2015.
Progress: While extreme weather in 2012 contributed to just over a 1% increase in electricity consumption from the year before, we have plans in place to help us achieve our 25% reduction goal by 2015.
To learn more about our work in reducing energy consumption read our Global Responsibility Goals & Progress Report.
In 2008, we set a goal to reduce electricity use by 25 % in company-owned stores by 2015. Since then, we’ve implemented a number of energy initiatives and have seen electricity use decrease by a total of 6.5%. Despite these efforts, electricity use in 2012 increased 1.1% compared to 2011, mainly due to record-breaking temperatures in the U.S. that caused our stores’ air conditioners to run more than usual.
Last year was one focused on testing and validating new, effective energy conservation solutions for our stores. In the next two years we’ll be bringing those proven strategies to scale to meet our goals. Examples include installing energy management systems and hybrid water heaters to heat our water and cool our stores.
What We're Doing Now
The single largest contributor to our environmental footprint is the energy we use in our stores. For that reason, we’re committed to implementing strategies that address every portion of our usage – from installing ENERGY STAR® qualified equipment and innovative controls, to working with our baristas to make sure they’re using efficient best practices in their daily work.
Identifying, testing and implementing the best energy-saving strategies for our stores requires careful, thoughtful planning. It takes time to make sure we’re doing it right. And time is not our only enemy: our mission is further complicated by the fact that outside factors are constantly working against us.
For example, it seems every passing year brings a new set of record temperatures and heat waves. In fact, 2012 was the warmest year on record in the United States according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Given that 30% of the energy spent in our stores goes toward HVAC equipment used to keep our partners and customers comfortable, any increase in temperature is going to make our air conditioners work longer and harder.
In addition to the weather, Starbucks continues to bring our customers new innovations in high-quality, handcrafted food and beverages – it’s something we love to do. But with more products can come more equipment – more refrigeration, more ovens, and so on. We work diligently to ensure new equipment is as efficient as possible, but we recognize that no matter how efficient it is, more equipment often means more energy used.
What We’ll Do Next
Despite these realities, we’re confident our diligent planning and efforts are going to pay off. In 2012 we focused on testing and validating new, effective energy conservation solutions for our stores. In the next two years we’ll be bringing those proven strategies to scale.
Our holistic suite of solutions includes sustainable building design, cutting-edge lighting and appliances, and web-enabled energy management systems – just to name a few. And once this equipment is in place, it’s critical to ensure it is optimally maintained and operated. Our facility managers are working more diligently than ever to ensure this happens to sustain our energy conservation gains.
We’re also working with our baristas to provide them with the tools they need to operate stores efficiently. In 2012 we partnered with the Snohomish County Public Utility District, Puget Sound Energy, PECI and Lucid to encourage partners in 10 stores to identify strategies for reducing energy and water use without impacting customer service.
The pilot project, funded in part by a grant from the Bonneville Power Administration, allowed us to assess the potential resource savings we could achieve by providing the 10 stores with utility data and best practices, coupled with some friendly competition to encourage active participation. Preliminary results are very promising: we found that many of our baristas embraced the opportunity to contribute to our energy and water reduction goals. In 2013 we’ll be taking what we learned, refining the program and expanding it to 100 stores to validate the test results. If all goes well, this program could be expanded to thousands of Starbucks stores.
Investing in Renewable Energy Goals and Progress
Goal: Purchase renewable energy equivalent to 100% of the electricity used in our global company-owned stores by 2015.
Progress: We continue to purchase the equivalent of over 50% of the electricity used in our global company-owned stores.
To learn more about our work in investing in renewable energy read our Global Responsibility Goals & Progress Report.
In addition to reducing our energy use, we’re increasingly focused on advancing renewable energy sources through our purchasing practices. We’re hoping to help transform the energy landscape by supporting the development of the renewable power market.
The Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) we purchase encourage the development of new clean-energy sources by providing wind-farm owners with additional revenue. In turn, that helps sell electricity at prices competitive with power plants that use fossil fuels.
In 2011 we began working toward a goal to purchase RECs equivalent to 100 % of the electricity used in our company-owned stores globally by 2015. For two years running, we have purchased renewable energy equivalent to more than 50 % of the electricity used in our company-owned stores worldwide.